What a wild couple of days to open the NFL’s free agency period. Some marquee names were on the move, many of whom either left the AFC East or are entering our little slice of heaven. So without further ado, I bring you the first semi-bi-annual free agency overreactions.
Let’s start in Western New York where free agency is typically a one way street- out of town. Jairus Byrd couldn’t fly out of town fast enough once he was free to talk with other teams and had safely landed some 1500+ miles away from Orchard Park in sunny New Orleans less than 24 hours later. The Bills did have some early success out on the market though, they’ve agreed to terms with tackle Chris Williams and hope that he can help keep EJ upright and on the field for 16 games this year. There are also reports that Nolan Carroll is scheduled for a dinner date at Dave & Busters with “Do the Dougie” Whaley so the Bills may still have a few tricks up their sleeves. If Bills fan does have any quarrels with the teams slow start, please don’t worry when the snow clears they will jump in big. No doubt this is the year that Bills finally reach that elusive 10 win plateau- and if not this year, definitely next.
Next up we have our loudest team, the New York Jets. The Jets have started their free agency slowly, choosing caution with their $40 million rather than their usual approach which is to just make it rain on them hoes and then wake up hung over on day two and be forced to give Mark Sanchez an extension in order to pay the ridiculous credit card bill from Scores that they found crumpled up in between the couch cushions. The Jets’ big splash this year was a modest offer to Eric Decker. A serviceable receiver that will no doubt be OK for Gang Green, but may find a dip in his production going from Manning to Geno. There are reports that Rex wanted Revis back “badly”, but for once the Jets did the smart thing and left their wallet in their other pants. The Jets have a solid defense, but this apparent neutering of Rexy has me thinking another 6-10 season is on the horizon.
Next up we have those lovable sea mammals from down the coast. The Fins and their wild billionaire owner kicked off the Apon-… I mean Hickey era with a bang by signing the guy that they hoped to have signed last year in Brandon Albert. With Ritchie Incognito safely ensconced in a mental institution, Brandon has a good chance of fitting in and helping ensure that Ryan The Great lives through the year and unleashes his wrath upon the league. With their other additions (or re-additions?) of Brent Grimes and Randy Starks, the Blow-Holes were the leaders in the clubhouse to take home their second consecutive off season championship and surely set themselves up to make another run at the postseason (only to remember that they are, in fact the Dolphins and choke down the stretch).
Then yesterday happened.
With one awesome move, the New England Patriots have taken over the lead in the offseason trite race and once again proved that they are the smahtest guys around and that NE is still a wicked awesome place to play. Also, Bill Belichick proved that he is in fact an evil genius/ puppet master that has the entire NFL under his control (more on this in a later edition). Darrell Revis is now a Patriot and all my dreams leading up to the 2007 draft (when all I wanted was Revis to somehow plummet to the bottom of the 1st and be a Patriot). This makes the loss of Aqib Talib not only palatable, but downright laughable. I will admit that I didn’t think it was possible for the Pats to not only make the only logical move once Talib fled for greener pastures (literally…) and open their checkbook and sign the best player at his position to a fairly huge deal, but once again the Pats showed that they truly do look for the best value available. And I think that Revis for about $750K less than the franchise tag for Talib is without question the best value out there. Next up for the Pats? Back up the truck to the loading dock at Wal-Mart and let the bargains roll in. There’s an arms race going on between NE and Denver, while Denver started in the lead and made some solid moves, Revis is a game changer and has the opportunity to close the gap all by himself. And if Brandon Browner signs with the Pats, that secondary will be greatly improved (come week 5 once Browner is eligible to play again…) The Pats are on schedule to finish with about 13 wins again this year and are on a collision course to settle the score with the Donkeys for AFC supremacy next January in the AFC Championship. Once again Everything is Awesome here in New England.
By David Monte